Uganda has the highest percent of youth in the world: 69.63% are ages 0-24 and 77% are under the age of 30. By 2050, the number of children under age 18 in Uganda will double from 22 million to 44 million; the number of adolescents will increase by more than double (120% increase).
Progress in attaining 2015 Millennium Development Goals showed impressive improvements: Uganda well exceeded their goal of halving the 56% poverty rate recorded in 1992/93 (decreased by two-thirds instead of half). High economic growth has been sustained for over two decades, with access to economic opportunities being the main driver of poverty reduction.
The primary school completion rate is growing from 59% of boys and 41% of girls to 72% of both boys and girls—eliminating the gender gap. However, nearly 30% have not completed primary school. And, gender disparities exist in secondary (12% fewer girls) and tertiary education (21% fewer women) completion. The basic literacy rate among young adults increased from 59% in 2002 to 74% in 2011—leaving more than a quarter yet illiterate.
Between 2011 and 2013, the proportion of urban population living in slums increased from 28% to 43%. The percent of rural residents recently declined from 87% to 75%.
Private non-agricultural wage employment has been growing at around 12% per year, the second highest rate of any African economy behind only Ghana. Job creation is one of the largest economic and social challenges facing Uganda, and a core theme of Uganda’s Vision 2040. Despite Uganda’s exceptional growth over the last two decades and large improvements in educational attainment, high population and labor force growth mean the majority of the labor force is still employed in low-productivity activities – informal work, the agricultural sector and own-account or unpaid family work.
Uganda has placed a priority on skills development for its residents by implementing a variety of initiatives under the Skilling Uganda program, introduced in 2012 to raise the economic relevance of Business, Technical and Vocational Education, and Training (BTVET) system, increase the quality of skills provided, and ensure equitable access to skills development.
The ICT sector in Uganda is one of the fastest-growing sectors, largely driven by the rapid expansion of mobile telephony. 95% of those accessing the Internet do so by mobile devices.
The penetration of mobile phones, mobile Internet, and money transfer services even into remote rural areas has had a strong effect on household income growth and poverty reduction, and has even greater potential as platform for many innovative new services. Mobile subscriptions per 100 inhabitants increased from just 4.5 in 2004 to 54 in 2015.
The Region – Wakiso
Located in central Uganda, Wakiso is 20 kilometers northwest of the capital city of Kampala and is the second largest town in its district. Although Wakiso has a higher rate of children attending secondary school (67%), a medium rate of adult illiteracy (8.42%), and a lower than country average rate of orphans (6.35%) than surrounding towns, it has a high rate of residents not in employment (35.24%).
The district is rapidly becoming urbanized, with the main economic activities turning away from agriculture to trade and industry. YTF provides ongoing training in technology and increases the skill levels of the community, providing new employment paths and less reliance on vulnerable, seasonal employment. In addition, YTF provides training and programs in the urban slums of Kampala.
Wakiso has the second highest rate of mobile phone ownership in all of Uganda (92.6%). Besides Kampala (95.9%), there are no other locations in Uganda that exceeds 90% ownership. YTF teaches participants how to use mobile technology to solve problems, meet local needs, and learn new skills.
Wakiso Digital Village
YTF expanded its work into Uganda in 2007. Two years before that, YTF hosted two international volunteers (Resty M. and Charles G.) as part of the United Nations Information Technology Program, UNITS. Charles and Resty were students at Kampala University in Uganda and spent six months as apprentices at YTF’s Owerri Digital Village in Nigeria. As apprentices, they learned how to establish and sustain a digital village center.
In partnership with Resty and Charles and an extraordinary group of online volunteers, YTF established a digital village in Uganda. This collaborative effort led YTF to win the prestigious United Nations Online Volunteers Award in 2007. Wakiso Digital Village projects include urban farming in Kampala slums and continuous ICT outreach to girls.
Visit our blog here.
Support YTF’s Work in Uganda
There are 2 ways to make a financial investment in YTF’s work in Uganda. You can mail a check to the YTF mailing address in the U.S. at:
Youth for Technology Foundation (YTF)
119 Evergreen Road
P.O. Box 436411
Louisville, KY 40253
Alternatively, you may donate here to make a secure donation to YTF’s work in Uganda.
YTF continuously seeks volunteers to mentor and support youth in their learning and economic growth. To volunteer, email us!